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$500 First Build Help

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September 21, 2009 6:20:49 PM

Hey guys, my girlfriend and I are each getting ready to build a $500 gaming PC that we basically want to run online games lag-free (a lot of Second Life mostly, but I want to be able to do combat with 20 people moving around me, lag-free). Neither of us have ever built a computer, and I've hardly been inside one, other than changing a CD drive once and just looking around/cleaning and dusting. Here are my qualifications: simple build (probably applies mainly to cases?), can run Second Life and SOFII lag-free is basically any situation, and be able to run other games lag-free as well just in case, and I want mine to have green lights inside (weird maybe but that's the way i invision it lol). Mine (green lights) needs wireless capability.

I plan to run mine on my 37" Samsung TV (though if i cant, i have a 19" plasma computer monitor) and she's gonna run hers with a basic tube monitor. All we need is the computer itself, no mouses, keyboards, etc.

Thanks for the help guys!

More about : 500 build

September 21, 2009 6:49:08 PM

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($54.95 + Free Shipping)

(2) APEVIA CF12SL-UGN 120mm Green LED Case Fan - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($13.98)

Antec earthwatts EA430 430W Continuous Power ATX12V v2.0 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($49.99 + Free Shipping)

AMD Athlon II X2 250 Regor 3.0GHz 2 x 1MB L2 Cache Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($76.00 + Free Shipping)

GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($69.99 w/ $10 MIR)

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7D-4GBRH - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($89.99 + Free Shipping)

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($49.99 + Free Shipping)

SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($27.99)

SAPPHIRE 100245HDMI Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($99.99 + Free Shipping)

Total: $532.87

I know its a little over budget, but you will be hard pressed to squeeze out much less, obvious areas are RAM, CPU, and case, those three could probably drop you down, but you would sacrifice performance and quality that way, I would recommend spending the extra $30 on the builds.

For your PC, you mentioned you need wireless internet;

LINKSYS WMP54G IEEE 802.11b/g, PCI 2.2 and 2.3 32bit PCI2.2 Wireless-G Adapter Up to 54Mbps Wireless Data Rates WEP, WPA, CCX 2.0 - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($29.49 + Free Shipping)
September 21, 2009 7:00:45 PM

Thanks! Where does that wireless adapter install? And 532.00 isn't too bad, it's very manageable. I appreciate the advice.

One other question, will I have any problems running my 37" LCD tv as my monitor? I'm about to buy the cable to do it but will it affect anything as far as gameplay?

EDIT: Also, my Dell PC has a CD/DVD drive I bought for about 20 bucks. Could I salvage that and save the 20-30.00?
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September 21, 2009 7:39:45 PM

The wireless adapter installs in a PCI slot in your computer, of which you have plenty =)

Is your 37" TV 720P or 1080P, the games you mentioned are not very graphically demanding, and at 720P resolutions, the HD4850 would be perfect. At 1080P, you will be fine running most games, just not maxed out games, this however applies to new and current titles like Fallout 3, Second Life will run perfectly.

You can definitely use that optical drive from your dell.
September 21, 2009 9:48:55 PM

Thanks Transmaniacon! A couple more questions:

My girlfriend wants a pink case lol, is this one decent? http://www.directron.com/atx927wk.html?gsear=1

And for me to have USB ports, will I have to add those? Or will they already be in the case when I get it? I'll need a few for mouse/keyboard obviously, and then an extra for stuff like ext. HD and ipod and what not. thanks!
September 21, 2009 9:53:06 PM

That one isn't bad, RAIDMAX usually makes decent low end cases, and they try to offer a lot of features and appearances not available at those price points.

The motherboard I linked earlier has 8 USB 2.0 slots, and the Antec 300 case has 2 on the front.
September 21, 2009 9:53:57 PM

There should be some in the front of the case, and more on the back of the motherboard
September 21, 2009 10:12:35 PM

Thanks guys! another question on OS's. I'll probably get Vista since it's probably cheapest, but my girlfriend is a Mac person. Can she get install the Mac OS on hers and everything be fine? She's never owned a non-Mac and apparently doesn't want to start now haha.
September 21, 2009 10:19:20 PM

Installing a Mac OS on non-Mac hardware is technically illegal. Posting about that is against the Tom's forum rules. You'll have to spend some quality time on Google to figure that out on your own. :) 
September 21, 2009 10:37:42 PM

Ah gotcha. reading reviews, I'm concerned that graphics card will burn up. Is that an issue where I might be better off with a different, more reliable one?
September 22, 2009 12:58:11 PM

That PSU would be fine.
!